Two weeks ago Alex Harris wrote about the amazing individuals that he has met through the trail running community. Although each has different reasons for turning to trails, he says a common lesson is that trail running is "a passion to do better, push further and overcome any pains or aliments in your life." The responses to the question he posed to his fellow trail runners, "why do you love running trails?", were so overwhelming that we posted the quotes in two installments. Enjoy reading all the reasons this community shares a passion for climbing rocks and crossing streams mid-run.
“It's quiet and peaceful and gives you something to think about other than running. As a new runner, I can go so much further on a trail before hitting ‘the wall’ than if I'm road running.” -Becca Roehmer
“I laugh, I cry, I breathe in nature, I let go of the world. It's the only place my body can move while my soul is still. It's where I most feel God's presence.” -Julie Lyness
“I run trails to find my peace and it refuels my sole. I pray, I listen to music, plan projects and give thanks to God for letting me run. Trail runners are the nicest people to spent time with as well.” -Diane Carpenter
“Well not to disappoint the squirrels, I run to drink beer!” -Ron Kuklinski
“I run in the woods on trails because pooping on the street is frowned upon.” -Carl Perkins
“I run trails because I hate treadmills and they use roads to deliver treadmills, so I hate roads, too. In all seriousness I like the quiet of the trails, the challenge of the ever changing environment, seeing the wildlife and it is where my friends are. Also, as Ron Kuklinski said, we drink beer.” -Chuck Dolor
“I've noticed that many of us go through our days using two or maybe three senses at a time at most. We are just not all that present, myself included. When I trail run, all five senses are engaged. I hear and see nature all around. There are a variety of smells and you can feel the earth under your feet in a way road runner miss. You can taste the fresh air on your lips and in your lungs. Being totally present and alive has a tremendous way to calm even the chattiest of minds. There is also an unsurpassed tribal community amongst trail runners. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this tribe.” -Chris Polizzi
“First let me say I am an ultra runner, so I love long distance runs. I enjoy the trails because I love the quiet serenity of it all. There are no cars beeping or zooming by, just the sounds of nature. I just feel more relaxed in the woods. It allows me to zen out and just go. Another big reason is I get to go places and see things that a lot of people do not. I've run up mountains, through valleys, and by water. These are things that people may never experience.” -Tom Gamber
“I'm kind of new to the whole running thing. I've been running for about two years now, but I have to say this about the trails: It affects your mind body and soul in a totally different way than a road run. For me, it's more of a spiritual thing like I'm closer to nature and the way we were meant to run.” -Tommy Hiker
Thank you to all the trail runners who shared glimpses of their passion with us!
About the Author: Alexander Harris
I am the self proclaimed Average Joe of trail running. I am not fast or elite, but I enjoy it passionately. I have my sights set high wanting to run my first 100 miler next year, and completing 4 ultras this year. In my spare time when I am not running, I enjoy photography and am working on bettering my skills to start producing my own running vlogs and documentaries. Feel free to follow my adventures on my blog at averagejoetrailrunner.wordpress.com.